A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics has found that almost 40% of veterans have expressed concerns about being able to pay their medical bills. The study, conducted by Robin Cohen and Peter Boersma, analyzed the financial burden of medical care among veterans and compared the results among those with different types of health care coverage.
The report found that 12.8% of veterans aged 25-64 had problems paying their medical bills, while 8.4% had forgone medical care. Furthermore, 38.4% of veterans were worried about being able to pay their medical bills if they became ill or were involved in an accident.
However, the study also revealed that veterans aged 25-64 with United States Department of Veterans Affairs health care and veterans with Tricare experienced similar or decreased financial burden of care than veterans with private insurance, regardless of whether they had Veterans Affairs health care. Tricare is a Department of Defense health care program for uniformed service members, retirees and their families.
The report noted that while many veterans rely on private insurance, nearly 40% have private insurance without Veterans Affairs health care. Another 17.9% of veterans have private insurance with Veterans Affairs health care. Despite the increasing reliance on Tricare and Veterans Affairs health care among veterans, little data exists on the financial burden of medical care among veterans with Veterans Affairs health care or Tricare relative to veterans with either private insurance or other public coverage.
The report concluded that “after adjustment for race and Hispanic origin, family income, employment status, health status, and disability status, most measures of financial burden improved for veterans who relied only on Veterans Affairs for their health care. Veterans covered by Veterans Affairs health care only were less likely than those with private insurance either with or without Veterans Affairs health care to have problems paying medical bills or any worry about paying medical bills.”
The findings highlight the need for further research on the financial burden of medical care among veterans and the importance of access to affordable health care for this population.
This article was adapted from a report on TheCenterSquare.com.